Prince of Persia -- Do I Have To?

Yesterday was Convention Recovery Day for me, which means relaxing and doing no real work. Sure, I uploaded a bunch of excellent coloring from Travis Walton (I'm now uploaded through June 12th, which means 10 years of uninterrupted updates is really, really likely) but mostly I napped, puttered, and cooked for myself (five days on the road means lots of eating out.)

Then Randy called and asked if I had seen Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time yet. Hey! A movie! I'll go see a movie!

What I forgot is that movies now represent additional commitment. I need to write about them because somehow you folks roped me into thinking that it's part of my job.

So... (That's the sound the cartoonist makes when he's gathering his thoughts. A good editor would prune extraneous stuff like that, but the blogosphere is largely unedited so the umms, errs, and like-you-know-sorta-likes all stay unpruned.) Umm... (I'm stalling for time.)

I remember when the Wynnsong Cinema, a Carmike joint, was the new theater in town. It was the first with stadium-style seating, and it was where we all wanted to see movies. It's kind of a dump now. The box-office guy was the guy who tore our ticket because between him and the gal selling popcorn, there wasn't anybody else in sight. Not even the people who sweep the trash off the floor of the theater, as evidenced by all the trash in the theater when our show started.

The pre-film commercials were lame (Carmike is a stumbling franchise I guess) and the volume was so loud I could hear distortion in the speakers. I remember seeing Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull at the Wynnsong, and it was also too loud. 

Errr... I haven't talked about the movie yet. Okay, FINE. It was fun enough, I guess. My brother and I had a good time. Watching movies with him is great. But the dialog was predictable, Ben Kingsley was performing a mere two notches above his Bloodrayne work, and they used shaky-cam during boring dialog on a march through the desert. I guess somebody thought I wanted to feel like I was watching this movie while riding a running camel. If that's the trend then I fear for technological progress, lest the successors to shaky cam include stinky-cam and spits-at-you-cam.

The story was actually pretty solid. Predictable ("Ben Kingsley did it, because he's the only man wearing scary eye make-up") but still solid. It could have been excellent though. Meet me at GenCon Indy and I'll tell you how they could have fixed it using "Chekov's Gun" and "Surprising Yet Inevitable" as guiding principles.

For all that, though, the film failed to move me. I laughed, but I never cheered, and I never even considered the merest possibility of crying. I know that sort of emotional depth is a lot to ask of an action film in any genre, but Star Trek, Speed Racer, and Spider Man 2 all had it. There have been others. I'm putting this one at #7 for the year for now. Smack-dab in the middle of the pack, if you don't count Legion, which nobody should.